Picture of first sit-in August 13, 1960 and closed lunch counter. “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” More »

Civil Rights Marker in downtown Jacksonville-Hemming Park/Plaza. More »

With Stetson Kennedy and Wayne Greenhaw. More »

Members of the 1960 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP TODAY---with Marjorie Meeks Brown, Dr. Arnett E. Girardeau, Iona Godfrey King, Rometa Graham Porter, Isaac Carnes, Alton Yates. More »

With NAACP National Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins in 1960 when he spoke in Jacksonville at one of the NAACP Mass Meetings. More »

Receiving Bronze Medal as a Florida Book Awards Winner--with Wayne Wiegand. More »

With Dr. Michael Eric Dyson-Speaker at the 2009 Jacksonville Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. More »

Speaker-City of Jacksonville Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast More »

With Dr. Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice...and the Speaker at the 2008 Jacksonville Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. Dr. Ogletree taught both Michelle Obama and President Obama at Harvard Law School. More »

Ruby Hurley and Ella Baker, two of 12 Civil Rights Icons immortalized in the 2009 USPS Stamp Issue-Civil Rights Pioneers. More »

Mrs. Ruby Hurley, Southeastern Regional Director NAACP and our 1960 NAACP Youth Council Surrogate Mother. More »

With Civil Rights Icon and Congressman John Lewis More »

50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1960 Sit-ins and Ax Handle Saturday with members of the 1960 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. From left...Issac Carnes, Marjorie Meeks Brown, Mary Chisholm Underwood, Iona Godfrey King, and Ann Albertie Hurst (yep my wife). In the rear of the Pulpit area at Bethel Baptist Institutional Church...from left...Ms. Adora Nweze, President of the Florida State Conference of Branches NAACP; Rev. Dr. Randolph Bracy; Isaiah Rumlin, President of the Jacksonville Branch; and Bethel Senior Co-Pastor, Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr. More »

Jacksonville Branch NAACP 2012 Freedom Fund Dinner More »

With Dr. Jelani Cobb at the 98th ASALH Annual Convention in Jacksonville October 2-6, 2013. More »

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Speaker at the 2013 ASALH National Convention Banquet in Jacksonville, Florida. More »

Dr. Robert Hayling, Me, and Charlie Cobb at the 2014 Florida Heritage Book Festival for our presentation on the Civil Rights/Freedom Summer Movement. More »


Black Clowns Standing in the Pulpit

Whites support Trump because he appeals to their Privilege, their core racist attitudes and because they believe their White Supremacy numbers are in trouble. They feel Trump represents the best opportunity for them to play payback after years of this country yielding to the "whims of Blacks."
Blacks support Trump because they are being led down the primrose path with the lure of money and some inflated thought of position, not even understanding that they are a means to an end and that the deviousness and intolerance that drives Trump’s racism are the same obvious reasons Racist Donald Trump and his band of Merry Racists will never accept them. Apparently, the money is good to compromise their scruples and principles or at least they think it is.
Black folks…some Black folks…should tire of bending over while also twisting their mouths and lips in the right position so they can kiss up to White folks at the same time. They should, but they do not. Their social and political motivation is almost always based on what’s in it for ME. Blacks make some of the most unprincipled arguments to justify their support for a Racist like Donald Trump. They do not understand that as Trump supporters, they are simply “script-followers” and they are expected to repeat all of the talking points White folks prepared for them. If you close your eyes and listen to the arguments they proffer, they sound like racists in Blackface. Blacks only fit in the Racist's Story as objects of derision and scorn and degradation and violent hostility. It is like expecting the Klan to open their arms and accept YOU as a member. What part of “Donald Trump is a Racist” do you not understand?” Plus, it is stupidity of the worst order.
What is more painful but decidedly not surprising, are the Black ministers who are determined to lead their congregations and everyone who would listen down a racist and hellish path to political slaughter and again for a racist. Let’s just call them the Judas Goats for Trump. Black folks, by and large, are a spiritual people, sometimes to a fault, so it is not a stretch for Whites …especially White politicians …to seek out and “EMPLOY” Black ministers to do their bidding even when they do not give a damn about them or their church. To watch a Black preacher in his own church honor a Racist like Donald Trump as if he is a savior makes me wonder if he missed ALL of Trump's venomous speeches as his racist words dripped from his racist lips. It is downright disrespectful. What part of “he doesn’t give a damn about anyone with your hue of skin” do you not understand? Some do not try and hide it. I would expect Donald Trump to attend the services of a Racist White preachers like John Hagee and the Pat Robertson etc and listen to the Biblical Word intertwined with their core racist words. “Donald Trump was chosen by God” immediately comes to mind. They are simply racists in preacher's garb. Yet, Black ministers associate and rub elbows with these White Racist Pulpit Charlatans as if they have the prescribed formula for getting to heaven. Why would YOU as a minister associate with a Racist just because he or she CLAIMS to be a minister?
Dr. Martin Luther King used to ask rhetorically during his speeches “How Long do we have to wait for America to recognize our birthright” and the answer would come back, “Not Long.” How Long? Not Long!
WE cannot estimate how long White America will continue its vile and venomous racism and how long some Black folks will go along to get along while forgetting the color of the face looking back at them in the mirror. We should start calling out ALL Blacks including Black ministers who betray the Black community …while getting paid…and we should just let the Chips Fall where they May!

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.


Is Donald Trump a Racist? Without a Doubt.

trump racist

Lest We Forget the History of This Racist and his historical Racism. Send this to Bishop Wayne T. Jackson the pastor of Great Faith Ministries as he prepares for his scripted interview with The Racist …The Racist's scripted visit to his Black Church…and The Racist's overall scripted visit to Detroit.
Remember all of this is because …
A Racist is running for President.
A Racist that the media refuses to call a racist.
A Racist who has insulted every ethnic group in this country and abroad.
A Racist who has tapped into the racism of millions of obvious White American racists.
A Racist who has made this country a laughing stock AGAIN.
A Racist who has NO intentions of changing and probably laughs at how he got the media to buy that bridge to nowhere.
A Racist who does not deserve consideration as a president of any country, let alone the USA.
Yet here we are discussing the pros and cons of a racist visiting Black folks in an Urban setting YET who does not have the stones to engage them in conversation.
Presidential? Not in the least. Just a great big cowardly racist joke on America.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Nothing Has Changed

COLIN KAEPERNICK SAT DOWN TO PROTEST WHITE AMERICA’S RACISM AND WHITE AMERICA’S INHUMANITY TO ITS BLACK CITIZENS. He privately made a decision on his own that he would protest White America’s violation of a major Christian tenet called the Golden Rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Young people sat down at White lunch counters here in Jacksonville and all over the South during the Civil Rights Movement to protest White America’s Racism and White America’s inhumanity to its Black Citizens. We did not sit down to eat a hot dog and drink a coke but rather we used White lunch counters, as visible vestiges of Racism in its most insulting manner, to dramatize our opposition to Racism. Angry White Jacksonville responded in the store as we sat by hurling vicious but usual epithets from Niggers to Jungle Bunnies to Nigras to Coon to Sambo to Niggers Ain’t Acting like Colored People—their new definition for NAACP—and their favorite … GO BACK TO AFRICA. The VIOLENCE would come later.
I could not help but remember that when reading the continuing vicious and hateful comments by Christian White America as they waded in on Colin Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick sat to protest Racism at an NFL game just as we sat to protest Racism at a White lunch counter back in the day. They both offered excellent stages to dramatize your feelings. And for that, White America is beside itself just as White America was beside itself back in the day. In fact, The ONLY time White America gets hysterical and has a virulent and venomous fit, is when Blacks protest White America's Racism. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Grateful for Racism?


COLIN KAEPERNECK DECIDED TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST AMERICAN INJUSTICE AND ITS RACISM just as John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Muhammad Ali did and he is being castigated by White America just as John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Muhammad Ali were. All of a sudden instead of being a Sunday NFL hero to “entertain” White America and in the “liberal” state of California, he is now “just an ungrateful nigger”… an “African coon”… “he should be appreciative of this opportunity to make money”… “he should go back to Africa” … and his jerseys are burned in effigy. Even Gabby Douglas…after she had represented the United States and represented the United States well, but because she forgot to put her hand over her heart while receiving her gold medal as they played the Star Spangled Banner, White America went bonkers as if she was unpatriotic–whatever in the Hell that means– yet did not open their mouths when White athletes still not stand still or put their hands over their hearts when the played the Star Spangled Banner and they received their gold medals. Different circumstance but still an instance of White Racism on parade. It was James Baldwin who said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” White America thinks that Black America should be ever grateful to White America for allowing us to live here. It is the never-ending White proposition that Blacks are to be seen and entertain and never have an opinion and never ever speak your mind about White Racism and the genocide perpetrated by White America on Black America…and that includes the almost daily shootings and killings by the Occupation troops in the Black community called The Police.
This is the same White America that instituted Slavery.
This is the same White America that seceded from the United States of America to fight a war to maintain Slavery.
This is the same White America that after losing their Slavery War then instituted the Nadir of Race Relations, Jim Crow laws, and de jure segregation and de facto segregation.
This is the same White America that needed pressure to integrate the military.
This is the same White America that encouraged the creation of cowardly night riding thugs like the Ku Klux Klan, the Jayhawkers, the Black Horse Cavalry, the Knights of the White Camellia, the Constitutional Union Guards, the Pale Faces, and the White Brotherhood to foment violence on Black America.
This is the same White America that declared Separate was, in
 fact Equal.
This is the same White America that needed to pass a Civil Rights Bill and a Voting Rights Bill(s) to ensure rights of Black Americans which were already guaranteed in the Constitution.
This is the same White America that has used Race Hatred and Fear over the years to elect Presidents who support Race hatred and Fear.
This is the same White America that has conspired to make the two terms of a Black President as insignificant as possible and
 are visibly angry and upset they were not successful.
This is the same White America who does not have a clue that Black Lives Matter simply means Black Lives Matter Too!
This is the same White America who thinks the Black Lives Matter is a hate group.
This is the same White America who thinks all Black males are “naturally violent” and think Black males always entertain thoughts of raping White females.
This is the same White America who feels that every Black victim murdered by the police 'had it coming."
This is the same White America who sees the disparate brutality and violence against Black America by the Police as necessary to protect them, their property and America.
In other words, this is Racist White America being Racist White America yet Again; and for this, WE should be grateful?

ColinKaeperneck has my respect. He is not just another Black millionaire in the NFL who after seeing and reading about daily instances of Racism he just goes along to get along. HE decided to SHOW his dissatisfaction by not standing for the Star Spangled Banner. Even White America does not realize that even the Star Spangled Banner is not a patriotic song. It is about war AND the 3rd verse —there are 4 verses—of the Star Spangled Banner has to do with wholesale Racism. Most Americans do not know that. Whether Colin knew that or not is not important. What is important he knows White America has shown and continues to show its racism daily, and its disdain for Black America; and as if to make the point how much…they nominated The Racist Donald Trump to run for President.

Black America can see Racist White America embracing a vile Racist like Donald Trump. Black America can see and hear White America shouting and applauding and being encouraged by all of the scum and garbage spewed by Donald Trump. Black America can see the actions of the millions of RACISTS who support Donald Trump as THEIR potential Racist-in-Chief. Black America can hear the hatred dripping from the lips of Donald Trump. Black America sees the daily violence exacted on them for just being Black. You cannot close your eyes and your mind as if these police shootings and killings of Blacks by the police are not happening. Black America can see all of these things.

Colin Kaeperneck saw and can see all of these things too and decided to do something about them in HIS OWN WAY. That is how a movement begins. It begins with ONE PERSON. But if none of the Black Wimps in the NFL open their collective and individual mouths in support, Colin did, and for that I applaud him. Of course, the White media and the White sports media as willing and stupid and ignorant extensions of White America will simply ask over and over and over again…Aren’t You Black People Grateful?

Colin's answer is … my answer is …as is the answer from other Blacks …NO…AND I DON’T HAVE TO BE GRATEFUL!

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.


SLAVERY IS THAT SUBJECT NOT TRUTHFULLY TAUGHT IN AMERICAN HISTORY CLASSROOMS AND AMERICAN HISTORY TEXTBOOKS PURPOSEFULLY EXCLUDE. Yet Slavery is a subject that WE should talk about and tell our Young People that OUR ancestors survived America’s Christianity in spite of. I thought about the ravages of Slavery that we do not discuss as I watched a segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The second section of my book, "Unless WE Tell It…It Never Gets Told!" is called "Confronting Racism" and it starts with a chapter on Slavery. These are a few excerpts from that chapter:
America’s Holocaust called slavery is the greatest tragedy and most immoral failing in the history of this country. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War. The Civil War was fought to maintain slavery. Everything about the Civil War revolved around slavery. Period. End of story.
The trade in enslaved persons, from the middle of the fifteenth century to the end of the nineteenth, was responsible for the kidnapping of between twelve and fifteen million people, forcibly removed from Africa to the Western Hemisphere. The trafficking of Africans by the major European countries during this period is sometimes referred to by African scholars as the “Maafa,” Swahili for “great disaster.” The slave trade led to the violent transporting of those millions of Africans, and to the deaths of many millions more. Nobody knows the actual number of Africans who died during slave raids and associated wars in Africa, during transportation and imprisonment, or in the horrendous conditions of the so-called “Middle Passage,” the voyage from Africa to the Americas.
Some historians conclude that the total loss in persons removed, together with those who died on the arduous march to the coastal slave marts and those killed in slave raids, exceeded the sixty-five to seventy-five million inhabitants remaining in Africa at the trade’s end. More than ten million died as direct consequence of the Atlantic slave trade alone. After being kidnapped from their homelands rich in culture and history and forced to become “chattel or property” on their way to an alien land, many Africans chose to jump overboard during those horrific trips aboard the slave ships and succumb to a death by drowning rather than succumb to death in slavery.
They were turned into nameless human beings, kidnapped and herded like cattle. Packed as human cargo and brought to foreign shores. Stripped of their identity and history. Stripped naked in the public square and inspected like livestock. Sold at auction to the highest bidder. Beaten and brutalized and dehumanized with searing regularity. Forced under unimaginable penalty to work under horrific conditions for no pay. Raped and marginalized with absolute impunity. Hunted like animals when they dared to rebel and seek freedom. Denied basic human rights. And yet they survived.
America simply ignored “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in order to enslave men, women, and children based on the color of their skin. American history textbooks do not accurately describe the horrors of slavery—the killings, the inhu¬manity, the decimation of the Black family unit, and the horrors of torturous bondage.
In "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism", historian Edward E. Baptist asserts that slavery was woven inextricably into the fabric of early nineteenth-century capitalism. Banks and financiers fed slavery with the investment it needed to continue expanding, and were rewarded with handsome profits from the labor of enslaved millions. Baptist pointed out how slave owners were able to boost productivity to a higher degree than other industries by working their slaves almost to death.
In the 1820s, slave owners held two million enslaved persons worth $1 billion—a third of all U.S. wealth at the time. The number of those enslaved in the United States had swelled to about four million at the time of the Civil War. The institution of slavery created the economic basis for modern capitalism and turned the United States into the wealthiest nation in the world. New York was built on cotton—the crop that dominated the international markets in the 1800s—as the city collected forty cents of every dollar earned in the cotton trade, transforming it into a financial center. Moreover, at the start of the Civil War, slaves were worth 48 percent of the wealth of the South, more than all of the banks, factories, and railroads in the country combined. In slavery, Africans were considered less than human, with no worth except as faceless “vessels” to carry out demeaning biddings, to work, to procreate and thereby generate children to be themselves enslaved.
Many contemporary textbooks, though, give a sanitized and historically inaccurate account, claiming that Africans were better off in American slavery than they were in Africa. Slave owners and slave traders would boast that slavery was “natural” because of race. Africans were not human beings, and therefore, they were born to be slaves. As historian Eric Williams writes in his book Capitalism and Slavery, “Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.”
The Struggle Continues.  RLHSR.


WHITE AMERICA AND BLACK AMERICA ARE AT A CROSSROADS. As much as we say One America or One Jacksonville or One-Wherever You Live- it is just talk. Many communities have these groups and organizations that talk a good game and even think their action is meaningful, but in the final analysis, the extent of their action is JUST TALK. Not only do many in White America not get it, but some in Black America also do not get it either.
Black America does not TRUST White America and for reasons too numerous to list them all, but I will list a few…
1) American History which should tell a truthful story of this
country’s good and bad dishonestly embellishes ONLY the good about White historical figures and excludes everyone and everything else. W. E. B. Du Bois said, “One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not re¬member that Daniel Webster got drunk, but only that he was a splen¬did constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect man and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.”
Black Americans are woefully unknown and excluded from American History. In the academic
arena there is a saying, “If it is not written down, it did not happen,” and Black history is seldom written on the pages of American history.
2) White America refuses collectively to admit to their White Privilege. White Privilege is described as a level of collective advantage that comes with being seen as the norm in America, automatically conferred irrespective of wealth, gender or other factors and all based on a White skin color. It makes life smoother, but it’s something you would barely notice unless it were suddenly taken away — or unless it had never applied to you in the first place. Yet Black America see examples of White Privilege every day exemplified with the respect police gave a White murderer after killing 9 Black people in a church by taking him to a fast food restaurant to eat because he was hungry. Did the police feel sorry for him because he was trying to escape and did not have a chance to stop and eat? That is coupled with the number of Blacks killed by police for just "twitching" and Whites who are arrested by police even though they were armed with various weapons.
3) Racism is one of the residuals of the American Holocaust called Slavery. Slavery created racial segregation and institutionalized racism. Most dictionaries define “racism” as racial hatred based on the color of one’s skin. As Dick Gregory said, “White is not a color; it’s an attitude.” Some add that racism is racial prejudice plus the institutional and systemic power to dominate, exclude, discriminate against, or abuse targeted groups of people based on a designation of race. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. How flawed is a country that passes racist laws, creates discriminatory governmental policies, and develops unfathomable societal catego¬ries designed to keep that population in their place based on the Black color of their skin? Even with the celebrated election of a Black President less than 150 years after the end of slavery, a vast number of White Americans showed for all who would watch and listen that it was not a happy occasion for them. Black America can plainly see the ongoing disdain White America has had for a Black President for no other reason than the color of his skin. Forget his qualification and the content of his character. White America never gives a damn about qualifications and the content of character irrespective of what they try to say…it is just the color of one’s skin. Like I said, Black America does not trust White America.
4) It is said that when America gets a cold, Black America gets Pneumonia. Which stills goes back to how Blacks are treated on everything from health care to jobs to education to housing to police actions to community infrastructure to politics.
This country now stands on the precipice of electing one of the most obviously racist and divisive demagogues in its short history and the same Whites who insulted President Barack Obama and tried to make his 8 years as hellish and as non-effective as possible are ecstatic with the thought of electing The Racist named Donald Trump. It is also an election encouraged by a smattering of Blacks who really do not know any better. Some Blacks really enjoy Whites telling them they are different. Some Blacks even feel if they just go along to get along with White America, they will be all right not understanding by supporting Donald Trump for President they are simply House Negro pawns with no human dignity and respect. Whites do not want Blacks to tell them the truth about Racism and Race Relations. They would prefer Blacks lie to them or tell them something which glosses over the problems. The reason America is in the “fix” it is in today is because we have not learned to talk truthfully about Racism and White America WILL NOT admit it's Racism.
Even with local political issues in your respective communities and in Jacksonville, how can you trust anyone who stands and supports the Racist Donald Trump? Is there any wonder why Black America STILL distrusts White America?
The Struggle Continues.  RLHSR.

Donald says The African Americans…He means You People!

Don't you just love White political commentators giving their opinion about Donald Trump "regrets" and his new so-call outreach to "The African Americans" –his way of saying 'You People'–as if his regrets make a difference? The Press then "reports" on Donald Trump as if they think that WE think THE Racist CAN change his spots.

Donald Trump has insulted Blacks (and many others) during his entire campaign. You do not put the brakes on your core racist attitudes and think Blacks will buy your new BULLSHIT. We did not buy your old BULLSHIT. If White commentators want an opinion about Donald Trump and his "new appeal" to "The African Americans", why not ask The African Americans? NO matter the circumstance, when will White folks understand THEY are not experts on US and how WE think? Donald Trump is a through and through Racist and he cannot pivot or make a change from that.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

WE Have a Lot To Lose.

Occasionally, I share great words and posts from friends on Facebook and from those in the media. This post comes from Chuck Hobbs, Tallahassee, Florida — Lawyer, Writer, Activist, Muckraker (his words). Chuck's writings are really something to write home about. I bet you will agree.

"Just read where Donald Trump posed the following question to "The African Americans" today: "What the Hell do you have to lose" (by voting for him).

Well, as one of "The African Americans," off the top of my head if I voted for Trump I stand to lose:

* My Self-Respect;

* My Black Card—and I do not mean American Express;

* Most, if not all, of my thousands of Black followers who read my articles and blogs and who would deduce that I have transmogrified from a proud Black man to a Fuck Nigga;

* My natural rhythm and ability to cut a two-step while balancing a bourbon in one hand and a Black n Mild in the other;

* My natural command of Ebonics;

* The daily communion with the ancestors whose spirits surround and support my every step;

* A place in Heaven for my dad, who may scream among the heavenly host: "that boy and namesake of mine done lost his got damn mind…" and get tossed out like Lucifer;

So nah, sorry Donald, but I will pass. Yes, I understand that Hillary Clinton has some deep flaws and has to answer for many issues with respect to Black people as I addressed assiduously while campaigning for Bernie Sanders earlier this year. But I sincerely believe that there are enough prominent and strong Black people advising Clinton now and later who will keep her in check with respect to what impacts various Black communities across America.

But Trump, like too many white Republicans and their Negro lackeys, irks the shit out of me when he seeks to tell Black people what WE should be concerned about politically. You and ya'll ain't Black, you have never walked in nann one of our shoes, and just now, there is some gump white dude named Rep Jack Kingston on CNN talking about how Trump is reaching out to "The African Americans," while simultaneously screaming that Clinton has never said "Blue Lives Matter." No, mufucka, it is ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, which implies "too," which for the intellectually dim witted means "also," which, then, implies that all lives matter, including the police. But Trump and his lackeys in a very pernicious way are convincing their fact deficient white supporters that Black folks want war with the police because to Trump et al, the best Black folks, which they believe are the minority, are 1. Docile 2. Dumb-Mute about racial injustices 3. Patriotic to the point of Jingoism despite living in a land that by law and custom has enslaved and mistreated us since 1619. Indeed, the election of a Black President did not ameliorate almost 400 years of racist bullshit by whites in power against Blacks, and what is worse is that Trump et al have done everything within their power to stymie Barack Obama's administration and question the very American citizenship of the man.

So to Hell with Donald Trump's appeal to "The African Americans." If he was as real as he claims, he would have delivered his pitch at the conventions for the Urban League, the NAACP, the National Bar Association, the National Medical Association or even better, the National Association of Black Journalists— all black advocacy groups. He has yet to deliver a speech at any one of over 100 HBCUs, schools that other candidates know are must stops to connect with Blacks in their vast alumni networks. Or if he is really about that Black vote life, he would have walked through the blighted neighborhoods or sat among Black folks living in squalor in housing projects and rural towns across America. But alas, he's not real, he is as fake as they come and a racist whose rhetoric cannot be mitigated through a fake ass apology and a half-hearted attempt to win Black voters."

Didn't I Tell You?

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Based on the Eternal words of James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"…

LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience presents area contemporary artists' responses to Jacksonville’s rich artistic African American heritage at the Cummer Museum and Art Gardens, with an emphasis on creating an artful platform to discuss issues around race, equity, and community.

As I continue to view LIFT—this great exhibit of talented and gifted artists—motivated by the words of one of Jacksonville’s great native sons, I cannot help but have flashbacks to what “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” means to me and its importance in the movement of civil rights in this country. I was ten years old when I enrolled in James Weldon Johnson Junior High school, which was one of two segregated Black junior high schools in Jacksonville. Upon entering the lobby of the school, you could not help but see a very striking and even imposing painting of James Weldon Johnson.

I learned about James Weldon Johnson during my West Jacksonville Elementary School years including, memorizing and singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” as a member of the school’s chorus. I would later transfer from James Weldon Johnson to Isaiah Blocker Junior High School, the other segregated Black junior high school in Jacksonville. My first day in my 8th grade American History class at Blocker, I was asked by Mr. Rutledge Pearson, the class instructor and later my mentor, to “tell the class something about James Weldon Johnson.” Little did I know at that time, but my first classroom expression about one of this country’s real giants would later lead to my joining the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP and the start of my continuing journey of talking about Black History and Civil Rights History. We sang "Lift…at every NAACP Mass Meeting during the CivilRights Movement.

We also sang "Lift…at every meeting of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is a majestic hymn. After having the honor of speaking to a Jewish Temple, the Rabbi said to me and others in his congregation, "It is a song that speaks to me as a Jew, and to oppressed people everywhere."

I am honored that I was included as a representative of those to whom James Weldon Johnson's masterful lyrics resonated. My hat is off to you Hope McMath and to you Ingrid Damiani, and the other great artists who have infused this much needed and thought-provoking exhibit into the fibers of a Jacksonville community.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

You cannot fix STUPID.

It is amazing to hear political pundits or whatever they are called these days opine about how Donald Trump has to pivot on his message to become a legitimate candidate for president. There is no pivoting on a message proclaiming your core racist attitudes. Donald trump is a legitimate candidate for president Now AND Donald Trump is a Racist Now. He did not just become a racist. He has millions of White supporters and voters who hang on his every word. For those who would counter that he has Black supporters understand his Black supporters —who you will usually find groveling at the FOX news trough—are totally insignificant and are strictly along for whatever the ride will pay them.

The White Media REFUSES to acknowledge Donald Trump's obvious racism. Every time he opens his mouth, slimy sputum soaked in hatred dribbles like a baby regurgitating. Racist ideology oozes through his lips in every sentence he tries to make. Does the media recognize racism or does the media rationalize racism as politics as usual? Since most of the decision makers in the media are White, do they compel themselves to "look the other way?" Is the media that afraid to tell the truth about racism? If they are, WHY are they afraid?

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.